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Meeting the Costs of Fostering a Child
When a foster carer welcomes a child into their home and life, it comes with a heap of challenges and opportunities. For many, a significant challenge lays in the financial cost of raising a child. And this is why fostering finances are part of the support process.
Raising a child is expensive. According to the latest reports, the estimated average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 stands at £229,251. From birth to the age of 11, it is thought that parents will spend on average £60,000.
These eye-watering figures make for sobering reading but who’s counting? The love, excitement and sheer bewilderment of being mum and dad are worth every penny.
It is a financial consideration that many parents think about when deciding not only if they will have children, but how many. Think about this in the context of fostering then – when we ask people to foster children; we are asking them to welcome children into their homes who are not biologically theirs. And this means that raising a foster child, just like raising a child of your own, brings additional financial pressure to your budget.
It may be a difficult conversation to have, but we need to understand that fostering is expensive for foster carers and they should be compensated for the work that they do too, just like they would if they ‘went out’ to work.
As a foster carer, you have taken an amazing step to offer a child in need a safe, loving and secure home.
You will face many challenges. You will face many issues together. You will have many sleepless nights but there will also be many happy times too.
You deserve to be rewarded for the work that you do which at times, will be incredibly hard work.
Payment for a foster carer’s services comes from the fostering agency that employs them to offer fostering placements to foster children or young people.
Fostering finances are calculated by considering;
* The type of fostering placement
* The age of the child
* The importance of the role you play in the child’s life
A fostering allowance if paid per child and takes into account the costs of living including;
* The cost of food
* Basic travel requirements
* Household bills
* And general, everyday living expenses like haircuts and so on.
The payments begin as soon as you take a foster child into your care.
Additional financial help
It is recognised that foster carers do a fantastic but difficult ‘job’. They take into their homes children and young people traumatised by their past. They work with birth families, something which in itself can be demanding.
The foster carer is there for the child every minute of the day and night. Foster carers don’t foster for the money but for a far bigger cause, but we still need to make sure that no foster carer is left behind.
As well as fostering allowances, there are also generous tax relief for foster carers too, and if you are on benefits, you may find that your payments are not affected if you decide to foster.
Fostering finances are just one strand of the amazing support that foster carers receive.
Aside from generous allowances, there are also ample training opportunities and support groups, all made available to the foster carer at no charge. Think about it then, is fostering something you could do?
Foster Care Associates Scotland offer generous fostering allowances, as well as an ever-expanding package of support for foster families and, are currently seeking more foster carers.
*This is a partnered post*